Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Go get a cup of coffee before settling into this one!

My world is expanding. And it is good.

I think it's time for another discussion about open adoption, folks. (For an up-close-and-personal account of what one open adoption looks like, go to Christine's pseudo-crunchy site.)

People keep asking me, "How long do they say the wait will be?" and "Where are you on the list?" and then I get to do some edumacating!

There isn't a list. There isn't a typical wait. There isn't a "typical" birthmother. Some birthmothers are teens, some are in college, some are married, and some have other children. Some biological mothers who are raising their children are fat, some are trim, some are vegetarians, some play raquetball. Some adoptive parents are rude, some are angels, and some are completely and totally average Joanne's. Typically, there is no typical.

So, a woman experiences an unplanned or ill-timed pregnancy. Sometimes she is devastated, sometimes angry, sometimes ecstatic, often conflicted (please feel free to chime in here, birthmothers). Hopefully, if she comes to the decision to place her baby for adoption, she has done so without undue pressure from an agency, family, a husband, friends, or TV (am I being naiive?). In any case, it has to be the most difficult decision she will ever make, and she will search her heart thoroughly before (and after, and forever?) doing so.

At our agency, the mother, after extensive counseling, looks at a stack of 1-page prospective adoptive parent profiles, maybe talks to a few, and then selects a family to possibly parent her baby. She gets to change her mind at any time. She is the mother, it's her right. Get this, oh ye uninitiated, the profile has our real, live, actual phone number on it. Sound scary? It can be, at first. Let's be honest. I mean, when you think of having a baby, you don't immediately think of mommy, daddy, baby, and birthmother. It's a paradigm shift (I must say, I do not take credit for these comments, they were my lovely husband's words). But now, knowing how much our future child's birthmother would be able to offer to the child throughout the child's life is immeasurable. Adoption is different. It is. Don't deny it. Cliche time coming up - embrace it!

In our case, after education and prayer, we're thrilled for her to have our identifying information, and we want hers. We want to call her when our child is old enough to have questions about her, and when we wonder where on earth he gets his love of gardening (we stink at gardening). If she chooses us to parent her baby, she is free to call any time. We'll invite her and her family to different occasions and hopefully they will come. She might not want to, especially at times, but we'll keep asking.

You get the picture. You're smart.

She might choose us in the 7th month of her pregnancy, or may have just recently given birth to her baby when she chooses. Therefore, it could be a few months if we're picked right away and she's almost due, it could be a year if we are not chosen right away, and it could be 2 days if she has already given birth. So, we wait. Soon, grasshopper.

Things I feel uncomfortable hearing:
I think you are brave/courageous/called/etc. to adopt. (Isn't it brave to have a child at all in this world?)

Your child will be lucky to have you. (Our birthmother will likely be wonderful and eventually completely able to parent, but for any reason not able to right now.)

I just know that open adoption isn't for me. (Please, please, research and consider it!)

And the obvious one, "I don't know if I could every see an adopted child as my own." (Then don't adopt. That's fine.)

I have to stop now. You won't be hearing from me for awhile. I'm not sick...stay tuned. We'll be officially waiting soon.

I also have to say, and you know this already, but I'm not perfect! Far from it, in fact. Perfection is Jesus Christ the One and Only. There will be times where I won't want to "share" our child. There will be times when I make an ugly face to myself when the birthmother of our child refers to her as "my daughter." I will want to punch someone who says, "Is she yours?" or "Do you know her real mother?" If I hurt you, give it a minute, breathe, and tell me. Nicely, please, I'm sensitive.

Oh, and ONE LAST THING. When I say "Our" baby, I mean ours to be more than two people. That's all, folks.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I love open adoption!

Hi, Kat!

I got to see Kat from our "waiting parents" group (although we are not yet OFFICIALLY waiting). She and her husband were on their way to Babies R Us after the agency meeting today. I found that terribly exciting, because we have been there several times ourselves in the past few weeks. We went to the outlet mall and I bought a receiving blanket. I also got a great gift idea at the meeting, but I can't tell you in case I'm going to get one for you!


Thursday, May 18, 2006

The softer side

Thelma thought maybe a blanket would be good. I think she's right. It doesn't look like it would be too comfortable to sleep on those springs. So, here is an afghan that I crocheted last year. It takes me forever to do one, since I don't do it very often.

That's "purple bear" in the crib. Purple bear is special. I'll tell you about him some day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The goods

Our baby's new crib! Isn't it pretty? Well, it could use a mattress and some color, but we really like it. We bought the floor model and disassembled it at the store, and then couldn't fit the backboard into the car! I made an "emergency" call to a friend with an SUV and went to pick it up the next door. As a bonus, I got to have coffee and a huge, gooey cinamon roll with a friend - yay for us!

On Sunday (my first mother's day as an expectant mom!) we bought a Pack n' Play at Target for $30, baby! It had been an online order that was returned to the store unopened. It is missing the bells-and-whistles, like a canopy and a changing pad, but as I said, it was $30!

You might think that a couple who have been longing for a child for over 3 years would spare no expense for their baby. But, I'm cheap! Dad, aren't you pleased? Saving $$ is fun!

Monday, May 15, 2006

This be it

I'm wrapping up middle school this evening.

My official last duty of student teaching is accompanying and conducting a few pieces on my middle school spring concert. I will conduct 4 songs, accompany 4 on piano and 2 on bass guitar.

I am ready to be finished. I have gotten to like middle school a lot more than I did at first, and I'll miss the kids. It's difficult, though, to be in this student-teacher position. I think it has been especially interesting for me as a "grown-up" because I think I should be good at things just because I'm older. I'm still young at teaching! I should cling to being young at something, I guess...

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Um...I am afraid we might not win Prospective Parents of the Year this time around.

This weekend was my first weekend of freedom in awhile! With finishing up graduate school and student teaching, planning for a vacation, and trying to get our home ready for a baby, the time has hurtled by and I have barely come up for air. I think that all the stress has caught up with me. Here's what happened. (Hey, I did have an accomplice).

We went to Baby Depot in Burlington Coat Factory to look at cribs again. They had a large assortment of cribs and several brands to choose from. We went back and forth between brands, and finally decided to purchase the floor model (which was C&T brand by Sorelle). I will post a picture later, but it won't be for several days for the following reason -- we couldn't get it home!

We had to disassemble the floor model in the store because it was too big for our car all put together. It took us awhile to get the last piece detatched, but we managed. The friendly salesladies helped us carry the pieces outside and then we pulled the car around. I was praying while Randy brought the car over, because the back board of the crib seemed a little large for the car. It was, so we realized we had to leave that part at Baby Depot until we could borrow a bigger car. We loaded up the rest of the pieces and off we went.

After a quick stop for a soda at Jack in the Box, we realized that we had left four parts of the disassembled crib sitting on the planter outside the store! And we were deemed fit to be parents?!? What if we had left our baby in the carseat sitting on the planter at Burlington Coat Factory? Should we rescind our application to adopt?

At Burlington Coat Factory, we're mooooore than great coats!

Please, please, can we still have a baby? We're not usually THAT forgetful!

My mom thought she'd send us a modest flower arrangement for our home visit last week. I think she forgot that everything is bigger in Texas! When I described it to her she got pretty quiet, and I got the impression that it wasn't what she had expected. I thought it was gorgeous and really made our home visit seem festive. The house looked so nice, and the flowers made me feel like I had a real live green thumb. (I guess I should have watered them before yesterday...)

In any case, Mom, here it is. Gorgeous and gigantic, isn't it? Don't worry, with the surplus of dead plants around our house the day of our home visit, and the lack of pie, (;o), Thelma) I think it was obvious that we weren't putting on airs.

Pompous and Circumstance

Yesterday I requested that Randy call me "Master Master Standridge" from now on. All I'm saying is, I have two master's degrees now - one in music therapy and one in music and human learning - and I think it would be respectful to call me Master Master Standridge. That's all.

Or maybe "Sweetie." I don't know, either one.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Cut and print

I may have just finished my master's project.

It is almost 1:am.